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Driving Without Insurance in Tennessee

Here's what you need to know...
  • Driving without insurance in Tennessee is a crime
  • If caught without proof of insurance, you can be fined large penalties and risk having your license suspended
  • Tennessee allows the use of ALP technology to track your plates
  • Keep your insurance current to avoid problems and fees

Why do you need auto insurance? This is a question people often ask when they pay their insurance premiums each month.

It’s a funny question, in a way. After all, they know that insurance protects them from financial loss due to a car accident or other mishap.

Although, you would be surprised at the number of people who allow their insurance to lapse without understanding the possible consequences of this decision.

They may let it expire accidentally or because they are having difficulty paying bills. But, regardless of the reason, it’s important to understand the significance of keeping your insurance current.

If you live in Tennesee and need auto insurance coverage, start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code above!

Auto Insurance Laws and Requirements in Tennessee

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Remember that auto insurance laws are specific to the state in which you live and drive. You should get familiar with the specific laws regarding insurance in your state.

In Tennessee, the minimum requirements for car insurance are:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury
  • $50,000 for bodily injury when two or more people are hurt
  • $15,000 for property damage

Tennessee is a “fault state.” The person who is at fault in an accident is responsible for paying the damages. Who is at fault is determined by the results of the police report and any eye witness accounts if the case goes to court.

It is important to at least carry the minimum insurance requirements for Tennessee.

You should also consider any other expenses and risks that are involved. If you are participating in an accident in which you are ruled at fault, you will be responsible for the damages.

You may want to carry additional coverages to make sure you are taken care of in the event of an accident.

It’s also important to note that uninsured motorist coverage is required in the state of Tennessee. This critical coverage covers you and your property if the person who hits you is at fault but does not have insurance.

How will law enforcement know if I’m driving without insurance?

Remember also that it is illegal to drive without insurance in Tennessee. You are also required to carry the proof of insurance in your car at all times. If you do not have it in your car when stopped in a routine traffic stop, you will need to be able to produce proof of insurance.

Law enforcement has several modern tools that aid them in locating drivers who do not carry insurance.

One such tool is the ALPR (Automatic License Plate Reader) which allows police officers to automatically read your license plate electronically and store the information in a database. It enables them to check it to see if you are carrying up-to-date insurance.

Some states do not allow the use of this technology, but it is becoming more common.

Consequences of Driving Without Insurance

If you do not carry insurance, you may be faced with high fines and penalties and risk other legal problems.

In Tennessee, the penalty for failure to produce proof of insurance on a first offense is $300 (an increase from the previous $150 amount), and you could also have your license or driving privileges suspended.

In addition to these fines and penalties, you may also face other legal fines, such as:

  • Suspended license and registration
  • Suspended for three years
  • $100 restoration fee

In addition to the above penalties and stipulations, you may also be required to retake the driver’s license exam as a contingency of restoring your driving privileges.

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What are the effects of driving without insurance?

There are other issues related to driving without insurance. Not only will you face these stiff penalties and hassles due to failure to carry insurance, but you may also face the following issues:

  • Blemished driving record
  • Increase in insurance premiums
  • High-risk insurance policies

Also, depending on the county, courts are allowed to give an additional penalty not exceeding $25 on top of the $300 fine.

Reasons for Policy Lapse

We know that at times it is hard to make the budget. There are all sorts of expenses that you are responsible for regarding the upkeep of your home.

But car insurance is too important to allow it to lapse. When a policy lapses, it means that you are no longer covered and you risk having to pay any expenses out-of-pocket.

Some common scenarios in which your policy may lapse include:

  • Switching providers – If you are in the middle of switching insurance providers, make sure that you have your new policy issued and “in hand” before stopping your old policy. Your insurance provider should tell you about this but keep it in mind even if they don’t.
  • Forgot to pay your bill – The most common reason for a policy lapse is failure to pay your bill. Sometimes you just forget to pay it or forget when it is due. Putting your bill on autopay may prevent this problem from happening.
  • Cannot afford to pay the bill – Sometimes you just have trouble making your bills that month. Call your insurance provider and ask if they can move your payment date or offer any way to keep your insurance current.
  • Sold your car – If you sell your car, you may not have current insurance that covers your new car or a second vehicle. If you sell your car, inform your insurance company so that you can have insurance put on the correct vehicle.
  • Car broke down – If your car breaks down, you may fail to pay your insurance. But remember that having trouble with your car is no excuse to let your policy lapse. It must still be insured if you plan to drive it at all shortly.
  • Car was in an accident – Even if your car was involved in an accident, you need to keep your insurance current. Sometimes, you don’t know if your vehicle is repairable following an accident, so keep your insurance on the wrecked vehicle until you need a new car. Then you would need to move your insurance to the new car.

Tips to Prevent a Policy Lapse

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There are some things that you should do to prevent a policy lapse.

Borrow money from a friend or family member if needed to pay your bill. Cancel some other less important subscription or service while you are tightening down on your budget. Put your insurance bill on autopay.

Any of these things may help you to make sure that you pay your insurance premium each month, which is simply too important to ignore.

Benefits of Shopping for Insurance Online

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Most of all, ensure that you have the insurance coverage that you need and can afford.

If your insurance is too expensive, shop around and compare online. The benefits to shopping for car insurance online is that you can line up each policy and company to compare their benefits side-by-side.

There are also online quotes and representatives who can help you decide which policy is best for your needs.

The most important thing is to make sure you have current insurance at all times. It’s just not worth the risk to let it lapse.

Are you driving around Tennessee without car insurance? Enter your ZIP code below to start comparison shopping for the best auto insurance rates!

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